Thank you and an update on the New Zealand XO-4 deployment

Sameer Verma sverma at
Sat Jul 13 00:31:17 EDT 2013

On Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 1:20 AM, Tabitha Roder <tabitha at> wrote:
> This week Barry Vercoe, Nicoletta Rata-Skudder and I had the pleasure of
> spending three days with the first New Zealand school to purchase XO laptops
> for their students. This school is also the first XO-4 touchscreen
> deployment (I think in the world??).
> I wanted to publicly thank all the people who worked so hard to help ensure
> this deployment had a successful start, including the deployment being able
> to be in Maori, the preferred language for this school. Thanks to CJL for
> his endless support in making this happen, and for all his continuing help
> as we work towards a sustainable translation team.
> Thank you to Walter for helping with the keyboard issues. We hope to test
> your new keyboard preference in a future build. For those reading this email
> without knowing about the New Zealand deployment, we needed some changes to
> allow Macrons on vowels to be in single characters. We found the combining
> macron available in the standard keyboard was problematic.
> The laptops are being used with first year students (five year olds) with a
> teacher who has completed the "One Education" teacher training provided by
> One Laptop per Child Australia. There are other teachers within the school
> also working through this training to help them prepare to deploy XO-4
> laptops in their classes. The students in her class had access to XO-1.75
> laptops for two weeks prior to the arrival of XO-4 laptops.
> There are a few bugs in the build that we have identified since deployment,
> and a few activities that the students would really like to see available
> for XO-4, but overall a successful launch.
> The school is using xo-system 1a build 49 which is acquired from
> and we customised it using Jerry's tinycore linux
> based customisation system. Many thanks to Jerry Vonau and James Cameron for
> producing this and helping us use it. This customisation meant we could have
> the laptops first start up in Maori and the children saw Maori language from
> the very first screen (where you put in your name/ingoa).
> We also bundled the following activities that the teacher had access to on
> the XO-1.75 during training (if the activity started on XO-4) - Cartoon
> builder, eToys, Get Books, Infoslicer, Maze, Story builder, the full Tam tam
> suite, Turtle machine and Typing Turtle.
> The teacher has asked us to investigate the jigsaw puzzle and slider puzzle
> activities for XO-4 as some children had made puzzles with their photos from
> Record on the XO-1.75 and enjoyed these activities.
> We noticed some performance issues with Record (the screen would freeze at
> times while they were preparing to take the photo) and we also could not get
> Undo to work in Write activity in the classroom. We will test these further
> and file bug reports when we know more.
> Thanks to DSD for the quick fix on the Browse performance issues.
> On leaving the school, the students were quickly gaining confidence in using
> the touchscreen as well as the touchpad, taking photos in Record and putting
> them in Write as part of story writing, and using the Paint activity. They
> were excited at every opportunity to use the XOs and were exploring all the
> activities with great enthusiasm.
> Thanks to all the others who also helped along the way. OLPC builds and
> deployments are a community effort, and we thank everyone involved. Please
> know that your efforts, advice and guidance has been worth the sharing, and
> this school is now enjoying their teaching and learning experiences with
> XO-4 laptops in the classroom.
> Thank you!
> Tabitha and Tom
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Awesome update!

Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Professor, Information Systems
San Francisco State University

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